Harrods has always been busy, but this trip on a Thursday afternoon was a leisurely one, no major queues, no crowds in the food hall, the best service from the tea emporium, the best service from the bakery who sliced our Harrods Signature Sourdough and our Montgomery Cheddar and Cumin loaves, we also had the most beautiful Nocerella olive breadsticks from the bakery (they stayed fresh long enough to enjoy the following day in Kew Botanical Gardens).
The cashiers were polite and friendly, the various employees dotted around the building tried to help us find our way.
The Harrods cafe was quiet and comfortable, there was no rush, no hurry, no eat drink and get out. We enjoyed the Harrods Chocolate Truffle and a Braffle with salted butter and England's finest Tiptree jam. When some chocolate was accidentally spilled onto a white linen blouse a customer service assistant very kindly fetched wet wipes to get it out so it wouldnt stain.
Sadly since visiting some 15 years ago as a teenager, the toy department has changed drastically, it's now more like Smyths toys, brightly coloured pods with a different collection in each, pink for barbie, yellow for Lego etc, gone were the sweeping walls filled with plush toys, gone were the swathes of teddies and Steif bears that adorned a large open plan room. Display boards with completed jigsaws missing from view. Hidden from sight. Lost in the toy box.
Another staple we failed to find was the Ice Cream Parlour, we have such fond memories of ordering the most expensive ice cream on the menu, alas a repeat was not to be. Nor was finding the Harrods branded teddies, tote bags, aprons, fridge magnets and other novelties of giftware.
Michael, a kind older Gentleman from Camberwell, spoiled us, at the end of our shopping he kindly opened door 3 and reminisced with us on the grander times when the pet shop was the pride of Mr Al-Fayed, when you could spot him among the finery, when Madame Tussauds had a display on the top floor near the terrace, and he kindly took control of mums wheelchair, offered to call a cab, and then walked us back to our car which was parked outside on the corner of Basil street. Michael was dressed in the full Harrods Doorman uniform on the hottest day of the year, his attention to presentation and his seeing a Lady with disabilities as a person, not merely the mobility aid she uses did not go unnoticed. Michaels kindness - whether part of his job description or not - was gratefully received.
We will definitely return, and look out for Michael and the bakery team.